The Future Is As Bright As The Promises Of God

Archive for August 1, 2014

Living In The Likeness Of Our Parent

“…in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth.
Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
Ephesians 4:22-24; 5:1-2 (NASB)
Being a Christian would be a relatively simple matter if all God expected of us was to believe this or that, feel a certain feeling in our hearts, or come church regularly. But something more radical is expected of us.
“Be imitators of God,” Paul tells the Ephesians. Can he be serious? How is it possible for common folk like us, in all our weakness, frailty, confusion, and humanity to be imitators of God? This is too great a burden for us to bear. We can change, but can we change this much? “As beloved children,” Paul says. In other words, Paul does not tell the Ephesians that they should struggle heroically to become who they are not. Rather, he urges them to become who they are, namely, beloved children of God. The changes, the conversion urged upon Christians are not to transform nobodies into somebodies, but to enable the somebodies to live like somebodies.
No one ever told us it was easy to be a Christian. Here is a faith that does not suit our natural inclinations, a faith with so bold a vision that we can spend our whole lives growing to it. It is not easy to act like a Christian, to forgive, to watch our language, to care for others. But the difficulty comes in our being children of God and, like all young children, trying to imitate our Parent in all that we do. This seems far too much to lay upon our small lives at first. But true believers have confidence that, given time and the work of the Spirit, we shall grow to it until that day when it can be said of us that we are imitators of God.

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